The Newlands Developments’ Equites Park Basingstoke scheme had been approved by the Council in April this year and was expected to consist of a 625,000ft2 footplate with three further mezzanine floors of 547,000ft2. The whole will total 2.327 million ft2 and will include 56,758ft2 of offices. It was thought the scheme could have employed upwards of 1,400 people.
However a legal challenge by Dummer Parish Council meant that the permission was revoked and just last week the development committee met again to consider the application leading to a 9-2 vote in favour of rescinding the permission altogether on the grounds that it would destroy local biodiversity, and that there was “no overriding public need”.
The committee also took exception to the number of jobs the scheme was set to provide with one member declaring that jobs promised in Lancashire on a similar scheme had failed to materialise and another councillor saying they he didn’t ‘buy the jobs front’.
There has been a sustained campaign to prevent the development since the start with Logistics Manager reporting that the scheme had been divisive from the very beginning with one councillor quoted as saying that “a distribution centre is not part of the vision for the town of Basingstoke”.
In addition to the legal threat from the parish council there has been a well supported campaign to save 80 oaks within the parish supported by Sarah, The Duchess of York and 95,000 other signatories.